June 15, 2011

Building Bridges - June 2011 edition

The June edition of Building Bridges has just been released by the Prison Action Network.

Summary of articles in this issue:

1. Nine actions, events and meetings you can attend to be part of the solution.

2. Citizens Against Recidivism offers 13-week program for adults who want help with their anger problem.

3. Legislative Report on a good bill that was vetoed, two bad bills that were passed, and bills that are in process; twelve bills in all that are important to members of Prison Action Network, including:

S0338/A0154 - Montgomery/Aubry Merit Time Bill
Mar 29, 2011: Defeated in Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections
Ayes (3): Rivera, Hassell-Thompson, Montgomery
Ayes W/R* (2): Kruger, Peralta *with reservations
Nays (9): Nozzolio, DeFrancisco, Gallivan, Griffo, Little, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Kennedy

4. Media coverage of our issues; Charles Blow in NYTimes OpEd speaks eloquently on the racial disparities of the War on Drugs; Bob Gangi addresses the same issue at Alternet.org.

5. The NYS Parole Reform Campaign encourages use of interactive website to contact legislators and record your stories; house parties to organize for the SAFE Parole Act.

6. Parole News reports only one A1VO initial release in April and one rescission of a March release. Readers have begun to report which commissioners were at each facility.

7. Prisoners of the Census: civil rights organizations file motion to defend law ending prison-based gerrymandering.

8. The SAFE Parole Act: what a ‘markup’ bill is, and another way to vote beside the ballot box. The SAFE Parole Act S5374 now has sponsors in both houses: Assembly Member Jeffrion Aubry has introduced it as Bill A7939, Assembly Member McEneny signed on.

9. On Sept. 24th at the Riverside Church in New York City, "Think outside the cell - a new day, a new way,” will feature a range of well-known speakers together with hundreds of formerly incarcerated men and women and their loved ones to grapple with issues affecting those who live in the long shadow of prison .

10. VOCAL - NY's parolee organizing project is demanding voting rights for parolees. PAN is one of 22 organizations who signed a letter urging Governor Cuomo to restore the vote for approximately 41,000 New Yorkers currently on parole. (Next step, PAN hopes, is to expand the right to vote to people in prison.)